Let the Sun Work

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

We’re convinced that peak oil is more or less at hand, that the changes it causes will be profound and destabilizing, and that we have no choice but to adjust to using less energy for all human activities. There are plenty of reasonable-sounding folks out there who think we’re all wrong. Here are some of them. We encourage you to compare our ideas to those of these naysayers and make your own decision. Just don’t take forever to do it. Time’s a wastin’.

  • Cambridge Energy Research Associates – Every lazy reporter’s favorite source on energy issues. CERA staffers are articulate, ubiquitous, well-financed, optimistic, and almost always wrong. Check the predictions they have made in the past about what would be happening by now and see just how consistently wrong they have been. Or check out this great graphic showing how they have consistently shot low in predicting the future price of crude oil. And you can’t check their math or analyze their data without paying exorbitant prices for their “confidential” reports. And even CERA acknowledges that a peak in world oil production is coming, perhaps by 2030. CERA is staffed by, funded by, and predictably supportive of the U.S. oil industry.
  • Leo Drollas, Chief Economist for the Centre for Global Energy Studies in London (since closed and out of business). Drollas told the news media in October, 2007 that there are plenty of supplies of oil and no looming crisis ahead. He called one report of peak oil “scaremongering.” Drollas says “production could still slow one day, but only because new reserves will be considered too difficult or expensive to extract.” We’re pretty sure that’s exactly what we and others concerned about peak oil are saying; maybe it’s all about how you spin it. You can get the data behind Drollas’s cheerfulness if you’re willing to pay £650. Is this sounding familiar?
  • ExxonMobil. An ad on their web site – now removed – promised that peak oil “will not occur this year, next year or for decades to come.” The ad quotes the now widely discredited total resource figure from the U.S. Geological Survey of 3.3 trillion barrels of oil, suggests that new technologies will keep expanding the amount of reserves indefinitely, and finishes with the happy thought that “peak production is nowhere in sight.”
  • Peak Oil Optimist – a largely dormant blog
  • Peak Oil Debunked – ditto
  • “Russia Proves “Peak Oil” is a Scam” – since removed – apparently convinced that the unpaid scientists and other volunteers in the peak oil community are in cahoots with the oil companies and that organizations like CERA (bathed in petroleum money) are what, courageous independents speaking truth to power?
  • The New Pessimism about Petroleum Resources: Debunking the Hubbert Model (and Hubbert Modelers) – surprisingly well written challenge to peak oil theory in general and the Hubbert curve in particular. Our primary objection to it is that it highlights minute variations in petroleum production rates as evidence of the failure of the Hubbert model, when in reality, they are merely part of the random fluctuations in the production rates of oil resources.
  • Peak Oil is Snake Oil!  and Peak Oil Theorists Gush Obfuscation! – columns by Raymond J. Learsy on The Huffington Post. Learsy’s principle assertion is that peak oil gives cover to the oil companies and allows them to raise oil prices and continue gouging consumers. Here’s a response from the guy Learsy’s attacking.